It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They've been best friends almost as long - at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh's family gets a free AOL CD in the mail,his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they're automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn't been invented yet. And they're looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.
By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they're forced to confront what they're doing right - and wrong - in the present.
Once upon a time, there weren’t many people who owned a computer. Owning a mobile phone was rare. Texting was practically unheard of. You couldn’t talk on the phone and IM at the same time (Oh, Dial up!). Pluto was still a planet. Harry Potter was yet to be written. AOL was the shiz. Wonderwall had just come out. Can you imagine such a time? I barely can these days but The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler succeeded in instantly taking me back to 1996! And you know what? I was overcome with nostalgia. I miss Dial up! And Pluto being a planet. And so many things about that time period!
The Future of Us begins with Josh, Emma’s neighbour and close friend, giving Emma an AOL CD he received in the mail that would give her hundred free hours online. Only, somehow, she ends up logging into her future Facebook account! Emma can see what her future-self (exactly fifteen years from then) is doing, who she’s married to, and so on.
Furthermore, every little thing she does in the present has the possibility to drastically alter her future! Whether it is spilling water or tearing a picture into pieces. Little ripples are created by these actions that can alter who she’s friends with, whom she gets married to or where she ends up working in the future. Emma and Josh find themselves obsessed with getting the future ‘just right’ and in the process, reevaluate their feelings towards each other!
I thoroughly enjoyed The Future of Us. There were elements that were SO 1996, characters that had depth and a great story that had a surprisingly simple but nice ending. The story featured two points of view: Josh’s and Emma’s. Josh and Emma were fun characters. Both of them had moments of absolute recklessness followed by epiphanies that came when they least expected it to.
One thing I found very realistic was the effect Facebook had on Josh and Emma which was very similar to how it has come to affect us: whether it’s the tendency to refresh your Home page every two seconds or cyber stalk the guy you are crushing on! I also liked how The Future of Us didn't need drama, unexpected plot twists or a heavy climax to make it work. Plot progression was gradual and the characters were very mellow. It was a sweet story with a fascinating premise and fun references to the past! Definitely a book you shouldn't miss!
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars